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At this time in history, more people are sleepwalking their way through life than ever before. There’s no denying that.

It’s easy to simply “go with the flow,” follow the crowd and be a zombie connected to every device in front of your face.

But living on autopilot leads to deep dissatisfaction, frustration, and confusion. This kind of experience typically brings up questions like, “How is this my life…how did I get here?”

The answer to those questions is simple: it’s because you haven’t been living intentionally.

I define living intentionally as, “actively participating in the creation of a lifestyle that is in alignment with one’s unique values and priorities.” Living intentionally is when you deliberately create a life you love, versus accepting whatever happens to come your way.

But here is the good news: You have the ability to start living intentionally right at this very moment. And the even better news is that living intentionally has the potential to create freedom like you’ve never imagined.

The philosophy is that when you deliberately make choices for your own life, you will have a lifestyle full of the things that are actually important to you.

When you are living in such a way that everything surrounding you (your relationships, your work, your wellbeing, your family, your spiritual practice, your philanthropy) is exactly as you designed it, you begin to feel free. You will feel free from old conditioning, which told you that having what you want is hard, or that it doesn’t come easy.

But when you feel free, you will inspire others to live intentionally and create their own freedom. So you’re breeding freedom, so to speak.

As humans, we are good at complicating things. So here are my three overly-simplified steps for how you can start creating personal freedom through intentional living:

01 | Identify Your Values
The “sleepwalking” epidemic comes from a lifetime of accepting others’ values as our own and not questioning them. So here is your opportunity to question all of those values, and pick new ones.

Write out your top 5-10 values. What is most important to you when it comes to where you live, who you spend your time with, what work you do, and what causes you support with either your time or donations? What do you value about your health and wellbeing? What is most important to you around family, travel, politics, the environment, and so on?

02 | Live According To Your Values
This is where it can get a bit overwhelming, so take one thing at a time. Take a look at the top value on your list.

Are you living in direct alignment with that value? For example, maybe your top value is, do work that is ethical and for-purpose, but you are working at a company who openly cuts corners and doesn’t make you feel like you’re contributing to a greater purpose.

What can you do today to shift, so you are in alignment with your top value of doing ethical, for-purpose work? You might consider searching for a new job, asking to be transferred or promoted, so you can take a leadership role and make changes yourself. You could even consider starting your own business.

03 | Take Action Consistently
First decide what your objective is, then start with small, bite-sized actions every single day. This is about changing the trajectory of your life by making micro-adjustments, not by burning everything to the ground and building up from the ashes.

Decide what your objective is, put dates on the calendar, do the research, enlist help, decide if you need to save some money and how much, and so on. There will be a time for quantum leaps, but you have to flex your living intentionally muscles first.
One by one, go through your newly established values. You can even journal or talk to a loved one about them. This is your opportunity to feel creative and excited about how your lifestyle is going to look and feel in the near future.

Be patient with yourself and expect naysayers on your journey. When things feel frustrating, always come back to your list of values and remind yourself why it is so important to take these conscious and deliberate steps every single day.

At Conscious, we are inspired by stories that cause us to think differently and think big-picture, and so we set out to tell stories with the help of leaders and influencers within the social good community. You can read more stories like this when you join as a member.